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Penn State Love Stories: From Friends To Lovers

Usually, when we do these love stories, the couples themselves sit down and tell us about their journey. Today, we have something new.

In this case, let us introduce Sarah Rodgers, the best friend of engaged couple Katie Dangle and Josh Simmons. Rodgers reached out to Onward State raving about her friends’ love for Penn State and each other. More importantly, she wanted to surprise them by having an article published about their journey.

So, surprise to the love birds! Let’s dive into the love story of Dangle and Simmons.

Dangle is from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and is headed to Penn State to become a teacher. Simmons is from Pittsburgh, and his love for Penn State runs deep in his veins, alongside his brother’s. There was never a doubt that Simmons would attend college in Happy Valley.

In 2013, Dangle and Simmons met during their freshman year in Brumbaugh Hall. Simmons lived in the building and made friends with those on his floor. Within those friendships, but not a resident of the floor, was Dangle. From that year forward, they were in a tight-knit friend group.

During the early winter of their sophomore year, their friendship grew stronger, and they officially started dating.

“I remember my friends always saying crazy stories about how surprised everyone was that they started dating,” Rodgers said. “The first date they went to Green Bowl, and they hit it off from there and dated throughout the rest of college.”

Courtesy of Sarah Rodgers

The two were involved in different activities. While Dangle was involved in THON, Simmons dedicated his time to Penn State Mock Trial. One of their common interests was, of course, Penn State football.

Simmons even waited in line for 18 hours to buy Pitt-Penn State tickets. During the campout, Simmons and Dangle made their way onto Onward State’s Twitter in 2016.

A tradition Dangle and Simmons now have is attending at least one Penn State football game per year.

Courtesy of Sarah Rodgers

In 2017, their senior year, Rodgers finally met Dangle through mutual friends. Both needing a roommate, they decided to try out living with each other. That’s when Rodgers was introduced to Simmons and saw just how in love the two were.

Courtesy of Sarah Rodgers

Rodgers ended up moving to Washington, D.C., with Dangle post-graduation and continued being roommates. Not only did she live with Dangle, but she started working with Simmons in a professional setting.

Through fate, this pairing of roommates and willingness to meet new people brought “lifelong friendships.”

“This brought us so much comfort, relocating together,” Rodgers said. “It was a comfort in having one another… We weren’t as scared as others might be because we had each other.”

In June 2022, Simmons proposed to Dangle on a bridge in Paris. Simmons had first told Dangle he loved her with a lock on a Pittsburgh bridge, so it was only fitting to propose to her this way.

Rodgers did exactly what a best friend would do and went with Simmons to pick out the engagement ring prior to the trip.

Courtesy of Sarah Rodgers

On July 9, 2023, the couple will tie the knot in Washington, D.C. And yes, you guessed it — Rodgers will be Dangle’s maid of honor.

“Penn State is part of them. It’s just who they are,” Rodgers said. “They are the core of our friend group.”

Courtesy of Sarah Rodgers

Rodgers said Dangle and Simmons’ relationship worked out, alongside their strong friendships, because of the open-mindedness they had at Penn State.

Although Rodgers focused on Dangle and Simmons’ Penn State story, she acknowledged that their love brought forth a forever bond to State College friendships.

“Everyone was comfortable being uncomfortable,” Rodgers said. “Being open-minded throughout every year of college is what got us here today.”

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About the Author

Larkin Richards

Larkin is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. The only words that leave her mouth are "yinz" and "dippy eggs." Luckily, her writing has much more substance than that. As a Steelers and Pirates fan, sports can become a hot debate. Share your thoughts on dogs (specifically Boston Terriers) with her at: [email protected]

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